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Facebook Smartphone Dr. Martens

Don’t over-complicate social media and social ROI, advises Dr Martens consumer marketing manager


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

March 22, 2013 | 4 min read

There is too much confusion when it comes to establishing the right ROI for social media. At least that’s the opinion of Dr Martens’ consumer marketing manager Simon Wilkinson.

Simon Wilkinson consumer marketing manager for Dr. Martens

“The hot potato of social media is ROI. I could write books about the people who write books about social ROI, but it really shouldn’t be so complicated. We know why we do social media at Dr Martens - because it leads to sales,” he said.

In fact Dr Martens has found that its Facebook fans are four times more likely to buy than those who aren’t, according to Wilkinson. Half its fans say they have bought Dr Martens since becoming a fan and 15 per cent have bought from a post. “These are hugely significant statistics for us."

Speaking at the Drum’s Digital Convergence event in London this week Wilkinson took delegates through the journey the shoe retailer has taken, shifting from the four Ps – product, place, promotion and price, to the 4 Cs – conversation, customisation, community and co-creation.

Dr Martens realised the necessity of integrating social media into its strategy when it first picked up on the fact that tens of thousands of conversations were being had independently across media not owned by the brand, according to Wilkinson. “There were unofficial fanbases of about 40,000 fans on unofficial fan sites – that’s 40,000 strangers who had come together to talk about Dr Martens on platforms we didn’t own. We had to earn the right to be there,” he explained.

It has achieved this by stripping away the complexity surrounding some businesses approach to social media and adopting a simple but effective content-driven strategy. “This may sound basic and I make no apology for that, because there is often a lot of confusion over what is meant by social media within Dr Martens.

“Traditional media is one-way broadcast which has led to many people believing social media is two-way – but we don’t see it like that - we define it as a network of conversations about Dr Martens with a large amount of content created by that community.”

Much of its focus is on ensuring its brand is visible in the social space via a mix of encouraging its communities to create their own content, and engaging them in conversations, all of which are it accompanies with “bursts” of paid media.

It centres all activity around a clear content strategy and framework which consists of: a defined tone of voice; standard guidelines across all regions; regular and standardised reporting, according to Wilkinson. “People can over complicate things. Some of our most engaged posts have been ones showing images we have taken ourselves in the office. “We begin every day with a product post and that can drive some of our biggest engagement and in some cases a post has been seen by 250,000 people within 24 hours and generated 9,000 Likes – that’s free reach,” he said.

It has created a break-out area on its Facebook page where people can upload their own content and has also launched an Instagram page, accruing 60,000 fans within eight months.

Facebook Smartphone Dr. Martens

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